PM Modi’s Cabinet Approves 5G Spectrum Auction; Rollout Expected Soon


5G rollout in India can happen sooner than expected. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a proposal of the auction of 5G spectrum to bring faster 5G connectivity to masses. Under the new proposal by Department of Telecommunications, the spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders for direct allocation of airwaves to enterprises. The government will hold the 5G spectrum auction by the end of July 2022.

PM Modi’s Cabinet Approves 5G Spectrum Auction; Rollout Expected Soon

"Digital connectivity has been an important part of policy initiatives of the government through its flagship programs such as Digital India, Start-up India, Make in India and others," a government statement read.

As per the government's release, a total of 72097.85 MHz of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years will be put to auction to be held by the end of July, 2022. The auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz) and High (26 GHz) frequency bands.

The much-anticipated auction will see participation from the leading telecom providers such as Reliance Industries' (RIL) Jio, Bharti Airtel Ltd, and Vodafone Idea (Vi). The government's release mentions that bidders would be given an option to surrender the spectrum after 10 years with no future liabilities with respect to balance instalments.

Notably, 5G has been in news for the last three years. We are often asked when 5G connectivity is rolling out to the masses, and finally, we have a timeline to give. If everything goes as mentioned in the government's report, you can expect to see a broader 5G rollout in the 2022 end or in the first quarter of 2023.

The market is already matured for 5G connectivity. You can get a 5G handset for as low as Rs. 16,000 in India. Realme, iQOO, Vivo, Xiaomi, Motorola, OnePlus etc. offer a range of 5G-enabled devices in India. With a broader rollout of 5G networks, consumers can expect a major boost in the overall internet connectivity speed.

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